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Re: New summary: Binary peripheral software

On Fri, Apr 30, 2004 at 11:36:23PM -0700, Joe Buck wrote:
> Q1: Is binary peripheral software DFSG-free or not?
> A1: If the source for that software is provided somehow, under a
>     DFSG-free license, yet.  Otherwise no.
> Q2: What do we do about it?
> A2: Distribute it in non-free if DFSG-valid source cannot be
>     provided.

I think someone has lost a fundamental point: all modern
hardware (which is not-free in every sense) uses firmware,
which could be free or not-free, being software in fact
(in the common sense).

That's NOTHING which does not allow the vendor to
distribute pieces of hardware with firmware partially
loaded on-fly by the OS or in user-space.
That firmware is a component of the hardware. If it's
NOW builtin, it could be partially loaded-on-demand 
TOMORROW (think to ACPI as an example).

Are you pretending that Intel or AMD distribute their hardware
components with free license? If so, well we could simply
close this project, we have to wait the next free-processors
to re-start working. I doubt that none has the possibility of
do that. Also, the kernel - which is GPL - interacts with
processors which are programmed with very high-level languages.
God, a GPL program which strictly interact with 'programs' not
available in 'preferred form' sources, but only on sylicon ???

The distance between hardware and software in today electronics
is very very very tiny. A processor is just an implementation
of something written in a non-conventional programming language.

Please, guys think to consequences of what all of you are saying.

Francesco P. Lovergine

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